Jump to content

The Blue "L's" and the Red "C"'s

Recommended Posts

I am going to try something here, if it doesnt work, I will be apologizing for quite awhile.


When I first read the title of the thread, Evangelical Leaders Join Global Warming Initiative, I thought, WOW, how did all those guys ever agree on anything. I read the title, "Evangelical Leaders" to include all who lay claim to the title. I guess it would be similar to "Pittsburgh Steelers Win Superbowl". Each Steeler is regarded to having won the Superbowl. But not every Evangelical Leader is joining the Global Warming Initiative; 86 are. But the title of the thread is not false, as there are Evangelical Leaders who are joining the Global Warming Initiative.


When it is said Liberals think XXX or Conservatives think ZZZ, do we mean all, every last one of the stinkin' ilk, or do we mean some? Are we so prescient that we "know" how others think, and truly every last one of them?


I have seen references to neoconservatives and paleoconservatives, I don't think both of these groups think alike or there wouldnt be a need for these labels. Then on the Liberal side, there are factions as well. So, how do we truly know what the other side thinks? Maybe we should ask, listen, digest and discuss instead of outright dismissal


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 75
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic



In my opinion, one side has very little idea of how the other side thinks and they both deal in absolutes when speaking of the other. Otherwise, there wouldn't be a book out currently titled "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder". The author makes no distinction concerning how liberla you have to be to be mentally defective. I'm sure some liberal writer has an equally offensive book about the conservatives.


It is still my opinion that much of this polarization has come about with 24 hour cable news channels and the rise in talk radio. The media works on a ratings system that helps determine how much they can charge for advertising. They end up selling out to ratings and bucks over fair or truthful analysis. People like sheep listen to the sound bite spin and insults and repeat it rather than actually research information and think for themselves. We've turned politics into a sportings event. It is no longer important to have consideration for your opponent, all that matters is scoring a point for your side and "winning".

Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't it really sad that our nation is so divided? We are at war. We face a common enemy in radical Islamic fundamentalism. Yet we can't even call each other Americans. We are either Liberals or Conservatives. Dems or Repubs. Lefties vs Righties. Us vs Them. Blues vs Reds. The atmosphere in Washington is so acerbic that nothing meaningful gets done. At the local level, talking about politics to someone from the other camp usually devolves into a shouting match.


I too blame the 24hour "news" and rise of talk radio. The hateful drone from the likes of Coulter, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Hannity do nothing but widen that divide. Its their winner take all attitude that fuels the fire.


This country desperately needs a uniter, not a divider.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, SR540Beaver, I think I understand what you mean.


I have ocasion to travel some in my job. And just about every "major" city I visit I can find a "sports Talk" radio station. Regardless of geographical location, the basic format is the same, the radio host makes comments and listeners call in to give their views. Generally, the hosts comments are negative towards the city's sports teams and the callers call-in to rant and rave and call the players chokes and no-talented bums while labeling the ownership moronic idiots who need help finding their way to the rest room let alone home.


As I soaked in the phenomona, I thought, what a great deal, the station targets the die hard fan who isnt happy unless his team consistently doesnt just win, but destroys the competition for 10 years in a row, and in the 11th will complain how lousy the bums are and how they were lucky for the past ten years and they will never be any good again. THis format will work for all NFL cities right now except for Pittsburgh, but I am sure the sports radio in Pittsburgh is centered on who is a free agent and if they lose so and so they cant ever expect to repeat. It feeds on negativism and is apparently quite successful.


So, maybe political talk shows are the same, they pander to a specific view point and hammer away at the things that demographic wants to hear in the name of freedom in speech financed by the ad revenue generated by the loyal listeners.


The "news" cable stations are deplorable. Let's say there is a topic of real interest. Say how the Federal Government responded to Katrina. One guy says we did all we could as fast as we could, the other guy says the feds sat on their hands while people died. Then they start to talk. Its quite interesting, both sides tell their story and its really good. Just as I am really getting into it, the host says sorry guys we are up against a break and bids adieu to the pair and they cut to commercial and then the host introduces the next segment, the two dogs considered to be the canines to beat in the upcomming Westminister Dog Show. It drives me nuts, how can they abruptly cut off a rolling discussion? Do they think thats what we/I want? To get a kernel of the story before the participants are cut off?


Has the ability to compromise been lost in our society?

Link to post
Share on other sites

To borrow a quote from one of my favorite characters, "I yam what I yam." Sometimes I am "liberal", sometimes I am "conservative"...it really depends on the topic, doesn't it? While I tend toward conservativeness, I am quite liberal in some areas. Does this make me purple?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems odd that in one thread we talked about how uneducated voters are, and in this one we criticize the news and radio, which have a potential for educating them.


It seems that you don't like news that doesn't meet your standards . . . thats democratic.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lisabob, if it's OK with you, I'd like to address some of your ideas from another thread. You consistenly demonstrate your ability to discuss ideas respectfully, I'd like to try my hand at it.


So, on that note: Here are some things that I believe as a liberal. Personally I think these beliefs fit rather well with the ideals embodied in the Boy Scout Oath and Law. If you don't think so, by all means, let's talk about it.

**I believe in standing up for freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, and of petition, both when in support of and when criticizing those in power. And just because such freedom is uncomfortable for some isn't a sufficient reason to curtail it. (A scout speaks the truth)


Would you take this faith in the 1st amendment all the way to flag burning (assuming it's your flag, etc.)? This is one of the arguments I had with my dad over the years. He just didn't separate the flag as a metaphor from the flag as a govt. symbol - in the way that I do. Don't get me wrong, I hate flag burning, but I definitely see it as a legal method of protest. I see it as a symbolic gesture not a metaphorical one.


The constitutional guarantees are vague enough, debatable enough, that I see room for argument about their limits/uses. I think the important point is to leave our ears and eyes open to the reasons behind other views.


**I believe government can be an effective instrument to reduce social ills like poverty, homelessness, lack of access to quality education and medical care, hunger, etc. (A scout is concerned about other people.)


I agree, but personal responsibility needs to come into the discussion. I'm troubled by: tax dollar support of illegal aliens; tax supported families that don't seem to act responsibly in how they use that support; welfare (etc.) recipients that don't seem to be efforting their way out of the system; with golf trips to Scotland; with the sense that there's much waste in the system and things don't really seem to have been made better (enough) by many of the programs. I know Medicare/Medicaid is the single most efficiently run health care program on the planet -- yet we're always fretting about it's financial health and it's ability to truly help those in need. Add all that up and understand my first real impression of this country's govt. involved a gentleman named Sam Irvin -- it's easy to lack trust and look for more succesful alternatives in the private sector.


**I believe that government can and should intervene in society to improve relations between majority and minority groups of all kinds, and that governments have a responsibility to also protect minority rights, not just majority rights. (A scout is a friend to all.)


IMHO, perhaps the govts' greatest historical responsibility and its greatest historical failure. "Peace Abroad" is a myth if we never find peace at home. We send billions to support foreign govts. - sometimes to help the people of foreign nations, though without any surety our $ are getting where they're intended. And here at home, we have millions living in poverty, thousands who can not read, write or count change at the grocery store. We have ignorance-based hatred of minority groups and any other group that doesn't think the way we think. We, as a nation, are the greatest contradiction on the planet. We have yet to be able to figure out how to translate "the need to win votes" into "the need to help people". Unfortunately, I would suggest and argue that the trend away from humanizing govt. and business in this nation is moving at a record high speed.


**I believe that there's an important difference between national pride, which citizens have every right to feel and express, and national arrogance, which is to be avoided, and that it is important to try to understand other viewpoints, even if one disagrees. (A scout is true to his ...nation; and, He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.)


I think it goes back to the issue above. We're realizing the pot 'o gold at the end of the American rainbow isn't bottomless. American govt. and businesses are fending off a weakening economy with practices that dehumanize our lives. Technology connects us to work, money and international affairs 24/7, but we don't have dinner with the children near as much as we used to. We live soundbite lives -- there's so little time that we skim every issue, every idea. We hear, label, and move on. There's little listening, understanding and learning. All that thinking isn't really efficient and doesn't immediately impact the quarterly earnings. Our arrogance, personal and national, IMHO, is very much a defense mechanism. We value who we are, and we don't have enough time to learn about others, so they must be of less value. AND, our methods of communicating are increasingly impersonal - fast, but not truly representative of who we might actually be face to face. Have you ever seen where someone reads an email or an electronic posting in a different light than the writer intends? ;)


**I believe that one of the best remedies for discontent with government actions and policies is to get involved and work for change. To sit back and wait for others to do it is unacceptable. (If [a scout] thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.)


Yes, but our nature and our training tends to be collaborative and teamwork oriented. By the time we are ready to fight the good fight, we're already frustrated - and given my views above, exhausted. Our assertiveness is often taken for aggressiveness. And certainly, if we're working for change, our actions are threatening to those who succeed in the present environment. Not that we shouldn't fight the good fight, but, here in the BSA, for example, you'd advocate for working within the system for changes, let's say, to membership policies? There are plenty of Scouters who would suggest you just go start your own Program. What can we say to convince them that your version of "Obedient" isn't any less true than their version? That your threat to the status quo, isn't a threat to them?







Link to post
Share on other sites

In rereading my post above - I'm afraid some might read my vague Watergate comment to be disrespectful to Sen. Irvin. Believe me that is not my intent. Rightly or wrongly, I see him as one of the heroes of that horrific situation. Watergate on the whole, however, taught me to question authority and distrust power.




BTW, vmpost, respectfully, IMHO, being stripey or purple is as minimizing as any other label, colored or otherwise. Just being VMPOST is more than enough -- it's not your color, but your ideas, that matter.


Scoutnut, Don't you think that equating talk radio and education is a huge stretch of the imagination?


Gern, we need 250 million uniters!(This message has been edited by johndaigler)

Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems odd that in one thread we talked about how uneducated voters are, and in this one we criticize the news and radio, which have a potential for educating them. It seems that you don't like news that doesn't meet your standards . . . thats democratic.


Yes, the difference is the 24 cable news and talk radio have the potential for education, but fall into the gutter of partisan propaganda and spin. The problem with the media is its primary job is not to educate, but generate revenue. They do this by selling advertising. Advertising rates increase with viewer/listener ship. Most people don't like to hear opposing viewpoints. They turn off those stations that offer it. Most of the people who don't read newspapers or get their news from alternative sources, are drawn to conservative talk radio. Thats why liberal talk radio has such a hard time getting a foothold. Most of the people who would listen to liberal talk radio simply don't listen to talk radio. They get their information from other sources, probably biased to their viewpoint.


We all gravitate to what makes us feel comfortable and doesn't challenge our own opinions.

Link to post
Share on other sites


Most of the hateful comments coming from the likes of Coulter and Limbaugh are brushed off as humor or satire.

I submit for review a book by Ann Coulter called "Treason". The tone of this book is that all liberals are treasonous.

Limbaugh laughingly calls feminists, feminazis.

O'Rielly is just a plain old mean bully.


I think you could make the claim that each of these commentators HATE liberals. No, I take that back. They hate their liberal views. Hows that?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gern: Those "hateful" comments are satire or humor. Rush Limbaugh states up front that he is an entertainer. If you listened to him over any length of time, you would realize that is exactly what he is. As to "feminazis," Limbaugh makes fun of their rigid adherence to doctrine. Making fun is not the same as hate.


I haven't read Coulters' book, but I have heard it discussed. She and some other conservatives see many leading liberals as "treasonous" in the sense that they are anti-American. Many of them are anti-American. Those are opinions with which you may disagree, but that is not hate. O'Reilly, of course, is a bully. That's part of his shtick. But he bullies those who choose to come on his program and subject themselves to it. And he always gives them credit for standing up their views in person, as opposed to the ones he attacks, such as Rev. Jackson, who won't. But I have never heard anything approaching hate from him.


Hating liberal views is closer to the mark, one definition of hate is "extreme dislike; antipathy." I can't disagree with that. It is possible that some of them do hate Al Franken, but nobody could deny that Franken hates them. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear ya Kahuna.

I was a card carrying ditto head back in the 90s and know Limbaugh well. His hypocrisy over his drug abuse and serial divorces took the shine off him for me though.


But I do think Coulter really hates liberals personally, not just politically. I've read a couple of her books. Its amazing that she has hooked up with Bill Maher. I guess opposites attract.


One thing I did read somewhere from an insider, was that Hannity's shtick is just that. He doesn't really believe the stuff he writes or says, but it sells and he's good at it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah, JD, dat's a bit much, eh? Perhaps a separate thread for each topic?


One thing I think that's apparent in your postings that I didn't catch before is the insistence on presenting/categorizing things as personal opinion/belief, absent any group label. Of course whatever any of us writes or says is our own personal understanding. That's so obvious it doesn't merit comment.


But I think one big difference between the Blue-L's and the Red-C's is that the Red-C's are more comfortable with the quest for objective, impersonal truth, that goes beyond what "I believe" to "What really works" or "what makes us us." In that way, they are more apt to use the language of objectivity or "common belief" like patriotism, even overbroadly. This drives many deconstructionist Blue-L's batty, as you illustrate.


Deconstructing any argument to a matter of personal belief makes an argument much easier to dismiss - you believe that, I believe this. There is then no need to work together to find an objective truth. Everything is "belief sharing" or, in the media "belief shouting." At the same time, such deconstruction prevents runaway "common beliefs" like Islamists or Maoists which can be very destructive.


But deconstruction and individual centeredness doesn't build community. People keep votin' for even weak "Red-C's" because they are using the language of objectivity, common belief and purpose which you seem to dismiss. It isn't a bad thing to define oneself in part as being a member of a group - an American, a Jew, a conservative, a Boy Scout, a Steeler's fan. That's genuine, it recognizes commonalities beyond individual differences, and it builds communities.


I failed to get that point across because for some reason dat's become a Red-C notion.






Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I used to be a dittohead too. For me, it was more that his ego got in the way of his entertainment. I do listen to him once in while, but not regularly.


Ann Coulter has never appealed to me and I've never read her or watched her much when she guests on news shows. I just doubt that she hates liberals personally.


Hannity sure seems genuine to me. He is a little too religion-based for my inclinations, but when I hear him, he makes sense. Of course, you can never tell with media people, whether they are "real" or not.


My personal favorite today is Hugh Hewitt. He is a constitutional lawyer and law professor. He has an amazing array of conservative intellectuals on his program. I don't know if you ever listened to him, but he would be the most intellectual of the whole group by far. He does dislike liberalism and frequently says that Democrats are unfit to govern by reason of their unwillingness to step up to the defense issue. He also comes down on Bush from time to time. He, too, is a big fan of Al Franken. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...